(ANS - Freetown) - On August 14 a violent landslide caused by torrential rains swept Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. According to local authorities, the number of deaths is about 1,000, but a definitive figure seems unlikely to be tallied. Two weeks after another flood, again due to heavy rainfall, it fell onto a suburb of the capital, causing a thousand deaths, including hundreds of children. Many people are still missing. The Don Bosco Fambul Center immediately took on the responsibility of welcoming and protecting children.
(ANS - Freetown) - A week after torrential rain devastated everything and everyone in Freetown, the search operations for hundreds of missing people buried in the mud continues. The number of deaths due to the mudslides and flooding in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, amounts to 461, as reported by the Reuters news agency, citing the spokesman for a local source. In an interview, Fr Jorge Crisafulli, a Salesian Freetown-based missionary, speaks of the current situation.
Freetown, Sierra Leone - August 21, 2017 - Salesians working in Freetown visited the flooded areas and hospitals and offered their complete support to help the government in the emergency. The disaster has recorded more than 492 deaths, 600 missing, and over 3,000 displaced persons. Since Friday, the local Salesians have hosted more than 300 children and numerous mothers nurturing their babies.
(ANS - Freetown) - While the world is talking about attacks in various parts of the globe, the deaths of Barcelona, Spain, and the situation of insecurity in numerous parts of Europe, death and destruction have devastated areas of Sierra Leone where, in Freetown, the poor and forgotten live. "We have begun to receive the survivors," writes Salesian P. Jorge Crisafulli who, with the Salesian community, works to help the survivors with all kinds of needs.
(ANS - Freetown) - Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leon, lies between the mountains and the sea, in a country with the entire continent's highest rate of annual precipitation. The rainy season on Sierra Leon's capital is very long and therefore it is not surprising that the city is accustomed to flooding. But the rains that hit the city on Monday, August 14, have caused nearly 400 deaths, hundreds of people missing, death and desolation everywhere. What are the Salesians doing in this situation? As during the Ebola epidemic, they are among the first to respond, and now commit themselves to accompanying the children affected.
(ANS – Freetown) – “Once a guard told us that we were not allow to kill cockroaches, because our lives were of less value than that of a cockroach,” says an inmate who spent 4 years in Pademba. The lives of inmates, "faceless men" in the prison of Pademba Road is an experience of continued suffering. Not by chance is it called "Hell on earth." But for the prisoners, life is not easy even when you leave the place. Unless someone decides to help you.
France - Elyes and Valentin, interns at "Valdocco"
(ANS - Lyon) - Elyes, a young Muslim, and Valentin, an atheist teenager, are two students of France's polytechnic schools who have decided to pursue their mandatory semester of human formation at the "Valdocco" Salesian Association center in Lyon, part of the "Don Bosco" Social Action Network. Below, their impressions.
THE DARK FACE OF INTERNET
If we wanted to find a metaphor to fully describe the revolution caused to society since the introduction and use of the Internet, we could certainly compare this phenomenon to the discovery of a new planet, a new continent, a territory continuously being explored that we cannot manage to fully fathom, one we repeatedly marvel at, that surprises us with ever-new aspects and unexpressed potential.
Spain - Youth Ministry and Family: a Congress to study and share the path
(ANS - Madrid) - “Descriptions of Good Practices and Mini Courses” are published on the website of the International Youth Ministry and Family Congress. The courses will be offered to about 300 participants. Representing all the Provinces of the Salesian Congregation, participants are due to meet in Madrid from 27 November to 1 December, 2017.
Italy - Salesians, Sports and Soccer: Success Stories
(ANS - Ferrara) - "Since the Oratory was the first of Don Bosco's initiatives, and the kind of initiative on which all the others are modeled, this combination of "catechesis and play" has been passed on to almost all the Salesian works. There is not even one Salesian school that does not, at least as a complementary activity, have recreational and sporting activities." Thus wrote Fr Juan E. Vecchi, VIII Successor of Don Bosco, in describing the Salesian's inherent attention to the world of sports. Attention from which sports teams, minor league and Serie A teams, amateur and pro players, emerged and came into being.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
ONE MISSIONARY RETURNS, ANOTHER 34 LEAVE FOR THE MISSIONS
I chose this enigmatic title for my greeting this month because I want to make reference to one Salesian who spent 18 months in captivity and another 34 SDBs and FMAs who will leave for the missions in various parts of the world. Ever since the very first one on November 11, 1875, there have been 148 missionary expeditions for our Salesian Family. These evoke the profound feeling that grace is at work.